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Published March 12, 2015
no-shape-bends-the-river-so-long-monica-berlin-beth-marzoniFree Verse Editions, the poetry series of Parlor Press, hosts The New Measure Poetry Prize each year, awarding a prize of $1,000 and publication to an author of an original, unpublished manuscript of poems. Chosen by Carolyn Forché as the 2013 winner, No Shape Bends the River So Long by Monica Berlin and Beth Marzoni was published this past December.

“[. . .] together they navigate with beauty and resonance the ‘hours of drought, of waiting, the new low- / watermarks of the lakes,’ the trees ‘that sound like rain & morning.’ This is ecopoetry, it is intimate conversation, it is meditation, the turning inward, the swinging back out from mind to world around the bend.” –Nancy Eimers

Check out Free Verse's website to learn more about No Shape Bends the River So Long.
Published February 17, 2015
delta-dogsThis new book, Delta Dogs from University Press of Mississippi, celebrates the canines who roam this most storied corner of Mississippi. Some of Clay's photographs feature lone dogs dwarfed by kudzu-choked trees and hidden among the brambles next to plowed fields. In others, dogs travel in amiable packs, trotting toward a shared but mysterious adventure. Her Delta dogs are by turns soulful, eager, wary, resigned, menacing, and contented.

Writers Brad Watson and Beth Ann Fennelly ponder Clay's dogs and their connections to the Delta, speculating about their role in the drama of everyday life and about their relationships to the humans who share this landscape with them. In a photographer's afterword, Clay writes about discovering the beauty of her native land from within. She finds that the ubiquitous presence of the Delta dog gives scale, life, and sometimes even whimsy and intent to her Mississippi landscape.

Delta Dogs
By Maude Schuyler Clay
Introduction by Brad Watson
Essay by Beth Ann Fennelly
96 pp. / 10.5 X 9 inches / 70 duotone photographs

[Text from the publisher's website.]
Published February 02, 2015
February's Book Reviews are now up! Check out what our reviewers have to say about tiles from Altaire Productions & Publications, University of Iowa Press, Burning Deck Press, Brooklyn Arts Press, Write Bloody Publishing, New Issues Press, Red Hen Press, and Pleiades Press. With only one fiction title covered this month, lovers of poetry have plenty to read about.
Published December 21, 2014

42 Miles Press poetry, books, chapbooks online

Published November 18, 2014
cheAs part of World Literature Today magazine's November 2014 cover feature focusing on central European literature since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the editors invited 25 writers to nominate one book that most influenced their own writing or ways of seeing the world. Nominations were open to any book-length work—written in any language and published since November 1989—as long as it could be read in English. The longlist was then published on WLT's blog, and readers were invited to vote for their three favorites. The top ten results, along with the nominating statements for the three winning titles, can be found in the most recent issue and on their website.
Published October 27, 2014
KillingTrayvonsPublished by CounterPunch, Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence tracks the case and explores why Trayvon’s name and George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict symbolized all the grieving, the injustice, the profiling and free passes based on white privilege and police power: the long list of Trayvons known and unknown. With contributions from Robin D.G. Kelley, Rita Dove, Cornel West and Amy Goodman, Thandisizwe Chimurenga, Alexander Cockburn, Etan Thomas, Tara Skurtu, bell hooks and Quassan Castro, June Jordan, Jesse Jackson, Tim Wise, Patricia Williams, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Vijay Prashad, Jesmyn Ward, Jordan Flaherty and more, Killing Trayvons is an essential addition to the literature on race, violence and resistance. [Description from the publisher.]

CounterPunch Magazine is a political newsletter of independent investigative journalism, published 10 times per year in print and digital. The CounterPunch website offers content free of charge. This, along with many other alternative magazines on a variety of topics, can be found on the NewPages Big List of Alternative Magazines.


Published August 25, 2014
you-must-remember-this-webMichael Bazzett, winner of the Milkweed Editions 2014 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, will have his collection of poems, You Must Remember This, published in November 2014. Pre-orders at a reduced price are being taken now on the Milkweed website. Bazzett will be reading at the Minneapolis Central Library on November 11 at 7:00 pm.
Published August 07, 2014
In case you missed it last week, August’s book reviews are now up for perusing.

Nonfiction books received a lot of love this month:

"Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture by Gaiutra Bahadur is a curious history. On one hand, it tells the story of the 'coolie' indenturment in the British Empire (with a great introductory note about the use of the word 'coolie'). On the other hand, it’s a story of family legacy. Coolie Woman grounds itself in the legitimacy of archival sources, interviews, and photos—its footnotes and documentation are extensive."

In The Kama Sutra Diaries:Intimate Journeys through Modern India, “[Sally] Howard undertakes the journey through modern India to reexamine society’s tacit condoning of sexual assaults, verbal abuses, and casual groping, sometimes referred to as ‘eve-teasing,’ a uniquely Indian term that connotes anything ranging from whistles from roadside Romeos to flashing.”

“Robert Root begins Happenstance by explaining his plan for the memoir: ‘to write about one hundred days of my childhood in the next one hundred days of my age, to capture one hundred recollections of the past over one hundred days of the future.’”

In Phoning Home by Jacob M. Appel, “The essays span the writer’s professional and personal lives, each adding depth and perception to the other. Essays on Appel’s Jewish heritage and family are at once poignant, witty and insightful.”

If nonfiction isn’t your favorite, there are several other reviews to enjoy: American Innovations, fiction by Rivka Galchen; Short, an international anthology featuring short stories and other short prose forms edited by Alan Ziegler; How a Mirage Works, poetry by Beverly Burch; Medea, fiction by Richard Matturo; and Someone Else’s Wedding Vows, poetry by Bianca Stone.
Published July 16, 2014
Located in Los Angeles, WriteGirl is a one-on-one mentoring and monthly creative writing workshop model for girls 13-18 years old. Started in 2001, WriteGirl has grown to become a recognized, and highly awarded, mentoring model for its efforts to promote creativity, critical thinking, and leadership skills to empower teen girls.
 
WriteGirl serves over 300 at-risk teen girls in Los Angeles County. The Core Mentoring Program pairs at-risk teen girls from more than 60 schools with professional women writers for one-on-one mentoring, workshops, internships and college admission and scholarship guidance. In 2001, WriteGirl launched a 24-week creative writing program for incarcerated teens, and in 2012 successfully guided a 12-week series of workshops in Peru under the name Escriba Chica.
 
WriteGirl has published a dozen anthologies of writing from young girls and women of the WriteGirl project, as well as Pens On Fire: Creative Writing Guide for Teachers & Youth Leaders. Their most recent collection, You Are Here: The WriteGirl Journey also includes a section on writing experiments to inspire writing and editing.
 
You Are Here is a gorgeously printed publication with over 100 contributors and additional information about WriteGirl and their activities. What I enjoyed most about it was the addition of a single comment from some of the authors to say a bit about their works. Some explain the activity, such as this from Anneliese Gelberg (age 16) to explain her prose poem "Dreaming": "At a WriteGirl Workshop, the activity was to write about a favorite place. I thought of my bedroom - bu more importantly, I thought of that place we all go when we're waking up or falling asleep." And this one, from Kathryn Cross (age 14) to comment on her prose piece "Joy": "I wrote this piece after not making the volleyball team."
 
For anyone who is interested in working with teens and writing, especially at-risk youth, WriteGirl provides a excellent model to follow and publications to inspire and guide.
Published April 09, 2014
Small Press Distribution has released the list of its top 20 poetry bestsellers for the month of March, topped by Sherman Alexie's What I've Stolen, What I've Earned (Hanging Loose Press). Check out the list here, and don't forget that ordering books through the SPD website or an individual publisher's site sends more of your money directly to the presses and authors.
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